NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter noticed an amazing ear-shaped crater, as if Mars was listening intently to sounds from the Solar System. The discovery was observed by a team of MRO HiRISE operators from the University of Arizona.
As you can see in the picture, not all craters on Mars have a perfectly round shape. The crater has a diameter of a little more than 1800 meters and is located in a region called Chryse Planitia – a flat area in the Northern Hemisphere of Mars. The strange shape may have been formed as a result of the fact that the object broke up into several pieces during the passage of the atmosphere of the Red Planet on its way to a collision with the surface.
There is nothing surprising about the strange shape of the crater, this phenomenon is called pareidolia. It is responsible for the fact that people see familiar things in unusual places or objects. Such effects can usually play funny tricks with our imagination: we can see mysterious cave entrances in them or notice interesting illusions.
“With pareidolia, we see features like faces and patterns where they don’t really exist. For example, we look at clouds in the sky or at other objects on the surface of Mars. In this case, we are looking at a strangely shaped impact crater, very similar to an ear. But if Mars is really listening, what would you tell it?” the NASA JPL team wrote.
Recall that earlier we showed how Mars Express photographed the Martian “Grand Canyon”.
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